Day Programs

Open Sky Co-Operative is a resource for social, functional and life skills assessments. We offer our life skills development programming opportunities year-round for people who live in the nearby community both in a home and farm setting, in conjunction with individual assessment and goal setting tools. Our program staff, participants and volunteers all work mutually and companionably together – caring for eachother, our animals and the land. All staff and volunteers who work with participants have passed a Criminal Records check.

We are offering a day-program for local area adults, who may attend either full-time (5 days per week) during the growing season and/or part-time (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) during the winter.

Programs and skills-building training are provided in the following areas:August 24 (13)

  1. Therapeutic Agriculture & Gardening
    • Poultry and animal care (including goats, donkeys, chickens and beekeeping)
    • Organic gardening practices
    • Orchard management
    • Harvesting
    • Egg and vegetable stand sales
    • Meal planning and preparation of healthy foods
    • Food handling and preservation
    • Lawn Maintenance
  2. Employability & Life Skills
    • Workplace and interpersonal skills
    • Self-management skills
    • Conflict resolution
    • Individualized coaching
    • Volunteering and work experience
    • New enterprise development (for example, Powerhouse Co-op)
    • Personal financial management
    • Introductory marketing skills
    • Social skills development in real settings
    • Hospitality and venue rental
    • Small construction projects (such as mending fences, household repairs)
  3. Services & Resources
    • Transitional residence
    • Mental Health First Aid
    • Functional Skills Assessments
    • Individualized program plans
    • Independent living skills
    • Hans Kai Wellness Community training
    • Off site mentoring
  4. Recreation
    • Spontaneous Frisbee games on the lawn
    • Swimming
    • Canoeing
    • Walking on the nearby Trans-Canada Trail
    • Board games
    • Special social events

Summer Daily Schedule:

8:30 am                   Arrival, meet and have a drink, talk about plans for the day

9:00 am                   Working in the garden or with the animals

10:00 am                 Break (those who come early prep the food/drinks)

Noon                        Lunch (prepared with some participants)

1:00 pm                   Either return to garden, package/process produce for sale, or participate in a skills-building, recreational or social activity

3:00 pm                  Break

4:30 pm                  Leaving time


Emily McBride oversees the outdoor training and gardening work and some afternoon activities, such as canoeing or the walking club.

Jenny Longpre conducts assessments and designs curriculum for upcoming and current program participants.  She also oversees some of the food prep, indoor work and afternoon activities.

Margaret Tusz-King is the Executive Director and oversees staffing, funding, and the employment program conducted in 2016.

Partnerships with local organizations, such as Daybreak, Middle Sackville Baptist Church (neighbours with a welcoming gym), Sackville United Church (Wednesday coffee hour co-hosts) enhance the program options. Local, skilled staff members and vetted volunteers round out the support needs for the programs, especially during learning and recreational activities.


Participants:  Up to 8 local area adults who want to participate in the program. They are able-bodied, able to follow simple instructions and not a danger to self or others. They must be able to get to and from the program (located within Sackville, 4.7km from downtown) on their own.

Fees:  We work with families to identify the least expensive program with the widest collection of funders as possible to make the programs accessible.

If you are interested in any of these activities, please Contact Us by email or phone.